It’s Friday afternoon and it turns out that you really can learn something new every day. For example, while I was reading a new e-book that I had downloaded I also learned a new cast iron word.
In fact, last night I was sitting in the truck waiting for my daughter to finish her dancing class for the night and was skimming through a PDF of The Backyard Fire Cookbook by Linda Ly (which you can pick up for a few bucks in this month’s Humble Bundle by the way… tho only if you’re reading this in May 2021. No affiliation.)
The author’s introduction noted that (in her opinion) cooking over a campfire required three foundational pieces of cast iron: a dutch oven, a big pan, and a plancha.
I’ll admit. That was a new word for me: plancha.
So, of course, I temporarily closed the PDF, swiped open a browser window, and Google’d it.
… to which a confusing selection of advertisements for griddles appeared on my screen.
As it turns out the English translation for what turns out to be the Spanish word plancha is iron.
More specifically, and digging through more sites helped me discover this, the word plancha in reference to a cooking tool is a flat, iron griddle with shallow sides.
Or, a big flat hunk of cast iron… and what I would have up until last night called a griddle.
Even Google knew better.
Not that griddle is a great word. I have a round griddle. I also have reversible griddle with grooves on one side and a flat smooth pancake-friendly surface on the other. I’ve a got a small griddle I put in my barbecue. And I even have an electric griddle (which I will mention as little as possible going forward.) Lots of griddles that have multiple different meanings even in my own kitchen.
Plancha may be a new word for me, but it suits the specificity of the kind of griddle-like pan I tend to prefer: an oblong, squarish piece of flat iron that has a bit of a lip to keep the food from slipping off but is otherwise a big broad cooking surface.
So. Friday afternoon and I have a new word to help me talk about one of my favourite topics. How’s your week going?